Leading UK Rubber compounder is sold to listed Swedish multinational in £25m deal

Berwin Group – one of the UK’s leading rubber compounders – has been acquired by HEXPOL AB of Sweden, a leading global polymer compounding group, in a £25m deal. Dow Schofield Watts Corporate Finance and TLT Solicitors advised the Berwin shareholders on the sale.

Berwin’s compounds are used in leading tyre brands, in products such as door and engine seals and hoses within the automotive, aerospace and oil and gas industries, and in everyday goods ranging from mouse mats to footwear. Founded over 60 years ago, Berwin employs over 200 staff at its headquarters in Dukinfield, Manchester and its site in Lydney, Gloucestershire and has a turnover of around £40m. In 2015 it won a place in the International Track 200 as one of the private British companies with the fastest-growing international sales profiles.

The sale provides an exit for Berwin’s Chairman Glyn Williams, who helped to lead a management buy-out in 1983. Mr Williams and his family are Berwin’s main shareholders.

Mr Williams said: “We are delighted that Berwin, which has been independent since its formation in 1953, has been recognised by HEXPOL for its market leading products and technical capability along with its loyal and experienced workforce.   By becoming a member of such a strong international group we believe Berwin will continue to thrive.”

The Dow Schofield Watts team was led by James Dow, Philip Price and Victoria Edwards. Philip said: “We are delighted to have helped Glyn and the other shareholders complete their journey from MBO to exit to an international purchaser with ambitions for the company’s future.”

James Dow added “The sale of Berwin to HEXPOL adds another significant transaction to our chemicals credentials and reinforces our capability to reach international purchasers through our international network”

The Berwin shareholders were also advised by Andrew Needham, TLT solicitors, who has advised the shareholders for over 30 years.

Ralph Wolkener/Carsten Rüter, President of HEXPOL Compounding Europe, said: ”The acquisition is a very good complement to HEXPOL Compounding in Europe and broadens and strengthens our presence with Rubber Compounds in the UK market. Berwin expands our capabilities and capacities to serve our customers in a more efficient way.”

Georg Brunstam, CEO of the HEXPOL Group, added: ”This is a further step in expanding and strengthening the HEXPOL Group with a further acquisition within our core business. Berwin, with its competence and capabilities, will fit nicely into the HEXPOL Group and gives us a stronger UK presence.”

The acquisition price is approximately £25m on a cash and debt free basis and has been funded by a combination of cash and existing bank facilities.

Adam Wessblad said : ”We are delighted to see our partner DSW being successful in this transaction on the Swedish market, and we hope to see more of this kind”